Monday, March 26, 2007

Hold on a second and let me look up the meaning of the word...

This usually meant going to a print dictionary and looking up the various meanings of a word, and perhaps even the etymology. In these Google days the meaning of a word is right at our fingertips. That does not mean there are not a large number of folks who still prefer to haul out the Webster's and look up the word. How many different kinds and types of dictionaries can there be? The Library of Congress catalog lists thousands. To truly get a feel for the dictionary, consider visiting a new exhibition at Rutgers Archibald S. Alexander Library at 169 College Avenue in New Brunswick (NJ): Everything from A to Z: The Edward J. Bloustein Dictionary Collection.

Edward J. Bloustein, Rutgers' seventeenth president, was an avid and informed collector of dictionaries. While focusing on general English-language dictionaries, he also collected more specialized works such as compendia of slang, originally published to help understand the speech of criminals; dictionaries of biography; and dictionaries of synonyms, the ancestors of today's thesauri. In 2004, his daughters Elise and Lori Bloustein donated his collection to the Rutgers University Libraries. The collection includes over 170 titles, dating from Thomas Cooper's Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae (1573) to the controversial Webster's Third International (1961).

To learn more about the exhibition, running through 21 June 2007, click here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Budgets & Dollars Have Huge Impact on Libraries

A Hostile Environment for Documents: Why is the EPA's library being decimated? This article explores the tremendous negative impact of cutting $2 million of the $2.5 million budget for EPA libraries.

The EPA shutdowns depleted reference materials that might be indispensable in an emergency. In the EPA's library, for example, are at least 50,000 one-of-a-kind primary source documents.

The article is written by Glenn McGee, director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College, where he holds the John A. Balint Endowed Chair in Medical Ethics.

Click here to read the entire article (The Scientist, Magazine of the Life Sciences)

Related link: Environmental Protection Agency EPA Libraries & Repositories

Rutgers creates smaller seminars on 'hot topics' for its undergrads

Freshmen at large research universities are notoriously left to flounder in colossal lecture halls, far from faculty stars.

As part of a sweeping effort to treat undergraduates better, Rutgers University will institute specialized, small seminars on everything from computer gaming to global warming.

The seminars are a central part of the university's transformation of undergraduate colleges in New Brunswick and designed to acquaint first-year and transfer students with cutting-edge research, interdisciplinary study and senior faculty.

Click here to read the entire story (Newark Star-Ledger)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Funding for Higher Education on the Rise, Except for NJ

Inside Higher Ed, 3/08/2007 - Despite the gloomy predictions of last year, support for higher education appears to be on the rebound. At least, that's what a newly released study from State Higher Education Executive Officers claims. Nationally, support for FTE students has increased to $6,325, in fiscal year 2006. That equates to a 5.1% increase in aid over 2005. Unfortunately, New Jersey is one of the seventeen states that experienced a five-year decrease in appropriations per FTE student. Read the full story here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rutgers forms center for study of gambling

As college basketball fans prepare to immerse themselves in March Madness, Rutgers University today announced the creation of a new Center for Gambling Studies, which will delve into everything from sports betting to Internet poker to gambling's social and legal effects. (Star-Ledger, NJ)

Lia Nower, a nationally-known scholar on gambling and director of the new center, said the research is important because legalized gambling is a huge economic engine in New Jersey and both legal and illegal gambling are growth industries.

Related article:

Rutgers’ School of Social Work establishes Center for Gambling Studies (Focus, The Faculty & Staff Publication of Rutgers)